PSALM 104:34

May my meditation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Washing Machine Woes

Allen and I have now been married 8 years.  Of that time, approximately 18 months have included an in-house washer and dryer.  Carlson Terrace, our first abode had a community washing room, free, but a good trek carrying a heavy load of laundry.  The second place was the one that actually did have a washer.  It was nice while it lasted.  In Rogers, our duplex had a washer and dryer installed about the last 2 months we lived there.  Again, just being able to throw wrinkled shirts in before putting them on, was nice.  In Bloomington I used a laundry mat a block away.  It was deserted most of the time and looked like it might have had a hay-day in the 70's.  No one was ever there so I took Pepsi a lot for company.  I had a love-hate relationship with that place.  It was quiet and got the job done.

Now, in Omaha, once washer and dryer.  However, there is a community wash room on each floor.  Somehow though, we've misplaced the key.  I actually think we never got one, but they won't believe that now and if we ask for a new one, we'll have to pay to replace I have been going, again, to the laundry mat.  :/  Now its even worse.  I work 40 hours a week and the last thing I want to do with my time off is go to the hot, crowded, dirty little place across the street.  But, the past week I realized something.  Sometimes the door to our laundry room in the apartment gets propped open with a trash can.  On those days I can use the facilities...but I have to wait for those days.  I know, complicated, right?

So, tonight I was kinda desperate, our laundry room was closed and locked, and I needed clean towels, but I was not desperate yet enough to pack up and drive across the I explored.  Our apartment's hallway's generally smell strange, musty, sometimes outright like B.O.  I avoid and hurry through them at all costs. But, like I said, I was desperate.  So, with Pepsi in tow, up the stairs I went.  And wonder of wonders!  The second floor was open and had 3 washers and dryers, unlike our lonely 1 on the bottom floor.  Yay!  No laundry mat for my Friday night.  So I loaded up my 2 $1.75 machines and headed back down to enjoy some tv before coming back to switch them to the dryer.

30 minutes later, one machine was done...the other was backed up and stopped.  The clothes were just laying in dirty water....So, hoping that the hairs I was finding were my own or Allen's I drug them out of the luke warm pool and into the other machine...another $1.75.  Meanwhile the others dried.  The second mistake I made was using dryer number 3 for washing machine number 2 that already had been washed twice.  I don't know, maybe that load was just cursed?  It didn't even heat the clothes up.  After drying 30 minutes they were still sopping wet.  I could have rung them out better.  So, now after spending $8, I have one dry load of clean clothes and one clean load of wet clothes dispersed and hanging out to dry old-school throughout the apartment.  Yuck! for laundry woes.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Love of Our Lives

Allen and I got married 8 years ago tomorrow.  We were nineteen.  I've told a few people in the past few days that this will be our eighth wedding anniversary and they always react with amazement.  My reply has been: "I wouldn't recommend it for just any couple, but I wouldn't change anything in the world about us."
2002 - Dating at 17 and 18 years old: Homecoming dance
Most beautiful wedding - 2004

We spent our 2nd wedding anniversary drawing Italia.  

The years have been happy:
January 2007
Summer 2008
A best friend's wedding December 2008

In the spring of 2009 we moved to Bloomington, IN.  It was a big move, far away from our normal.  But, home is where the one you love is.  We loved and lived in Bloomington, celebrating our 5th anniversary by eating out on the square.  

2010 Eyeball date

Summer 2010 another best friend's wedding

Adventures summer 2011
This year we are in Omaha.  The past weekend we explored the arts festival and farmer's market downtown, then planned our future house by perusing for hours through a furniture market.   We did get married when we were very young, but we are blessed, and our lives have been nothing but adventure.  We both love one another's company and look forward to the years to come. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Family Memorial

My house is quiet this morning, but it wasn't about an hour ago.  7/9ths of my beautiful family gathered in our 1 bedroom apartment this weekend to enjoy each other's company and celebrate the long weekend.  When Allen and I found out we were moving to Omaha for only 3 months, we made the decision to leave most of our furniture in Arkansas.  So, there's no couch, no beds, only a wooden rocking chair, a lawn chair and a stool for seating.  But we made do and had fun!

We just stacked beds on top of each other. ;)  Haha! Not really, Rachel was just being silly.  It does make a funny picture though.  

On Saturday we took a trip to the zoo.  

I loved everything but the orangutans are always funny.  This time they were hot and there was one hanging upside down like a bat in front of an air vent.  We stood and laughed at them for a long time.  

We also watched The Arctic in the IMAX and LOVED the aquarium.  

The butterfly house was our last stop, but I think it was my favorite.  Beautiful colors float around you and sip sugar from fruit.  

Allen didn't make it to the zoo with us.  He had to work.  But, Sunday morning all seven of us prepared to spend a day exploring Omaha.  

For as long as I can remember, dad has been braiding mine and my sister's hair.  So, Sunday morning that's what he did.  Rachel wanted her's done so that her hair would curl, but mom and I wore ours all day.  Of course Sunday night and still this morning it is curly.  Too bad I don't have him around all the time.  

We drove downtown and shopped several antique malls and art galleries.  We are all lovers of junk and can only attempt to control our minor hoarding tendencies.  Allen and I bought two ceramic hand-made mugs from an artist, mom bought a bird picture that matches a set she collects, and John bought a vintage sweater.  

Rachel found a cat.  Yes, it's real.

Allen almost got eaten by a hippo.  No, it's not real.

And we enjoyed Jelly Belly pop outside Hollywood Candy.

We ate lunch at a hamburger place called Runza, which we have only ever seen in Nebraska.  

After lunch we explored the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.  It runs between Nebraska and Iowa over the Missouri river.  It is very pretty and VERY WINDY!

Allen and Rachel standing in Iowa and Nebraska at the same time.

Allen kept trying to get Rachel to look like the wind was blowing her away.  Which it about was!

We almost lost John.

After our bridge adventure we went back to our tiny abode and ate lasagna and corn on the cob that mom made on the floor. ;)  It was yummy!

A couple of hours ago now, mom, dad, John, Nate and Rache left.  Pepsi and I already miss them and I also missed the two that didn't get to come.  I hope to see Anna and Ben soon.  But I was REALLY happy the five who came made this weekend so fun and memorable.  I love them all!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Oh goodness..."

Among overflowing sinks, insulting patients, and the traffic of Omaha, Allen and I have almost navigated our first week.  Sigh....

It hasn't been bad, not at all.  Actually, I'd probably call it a good week.  But its been forever long.  I think I can't get used to changing time zones.  I'm exhausted by 9:00.  The drive for both me and Allen is long, especially when I accidentally take Allen's truck keys and drive 10 miles through the traffic about 10 minutes before he has to leave for work....he called a cab.

Today I was supposed to come home and relax an hour or two before he got off work.  This is what I found:

Nastiness coming up from the sewer. :<
The week hasn't been couldn't be, I passed boards!  Allen got offered a job! ....... I think I'm just numb.  Too much has happened too quickly.  Hopefully life will even out and be normal again soon.  Although Allen says our life has never been normal. ;)  Maybe not?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Westward Ho!

SO much has happened in the past two weeks...I will probably have to write several separate posts just to catch up.  But, I wanted to do a simple update just to let everyone know where and how we are.  You would think that where we are would not be that hard, our friends and family should have a general idea, right? But no, this is not necessarily true.  The last couple of weeks we have been back and forth all over the country!

Allen left Bloomington the third week of April and before he left, we packed.  We threw out or gave away a LOT of stuff.  This stuff sat out by our dumpster a total of maybe 20 minutes.  We threw out our old gigantically heavy tv too, but somebody picked that up before I got a chance to snap a shot.

After Allen left for Arkansas I spent a few days in a mostly empty apartment by myself with only Pepsi for company.  Then, I got tired of being alone and moved in with Darrel and Caitlin.  The night that I completely moved out of my apartment was a Wednesday and after church we somehow decided that just Caitlin and I would grab the rest of my stuff and move by ourselves over to their apartment. The mistake, however, soon became apparent when we remembered that we are both horrible packers...everything got shoved crazily into the back of the truck and the breakables and plants rode on Caitlin's lap.

Beautiful bride
Like I said, I moved in Wednesday, but did I stay long?  No.  Thursday night I took a final, Friday I worked my last day in clinic, and Friday night Caitlin, Darrel, and I headed out on an adventure bound for Springfield, MO and Rogers, AR.  We didn't leave Bloomington till about 6:30 and made it to friend's house in Springfield around 2:30AM.  We were blessed with a beautiful rental car, paid for by friends, good company, and plenty of snacks...the drive was windy, but uneventful.  Caitlin had never seen the St. Louis Arch before and guess where we got stuck?  We couldn't have had a better view for a full 20 minutes...right on top of the Mississippi.  The wedding was gorgeous and spending the day with friends, priceless.  That whole story deserves its own post for sure.

After the wedding adventure and 20 hours of driving through the weekend, I had a test at 10AM Monday morning.  It was sad because I only was able to stay at the wedding reception for about 20 minutes, and we still didn't make it back to Bloomington until 3:00AM, but all the running around was worth it.  The test Monday morning was passed and so was Wednesday's.

Thursday I drove by myself through beautiful Illinois and Iowa on the way to Nebraska.  Some people might have hated an 11 hour drive alone, but I kind of liked it.  Yes, it got a little boring at times, but I had the radio and the amazing countryside to entertain me.  And, I could think.

Nebraska itself has been exciting.  I haven't seen the infamous "shooting gallery," but Allen got lost right when he first got into the city Thursday night and is pretty sure he saw it. ;) We didn't have a place to live until we finally found something suitable about 2:00PM yesterday.  I had a few moments of panic because Warren Buffet is apparently in town and every hotel for miles and miles is booked.  But, as always God came through and protected and guided His children.  We found an apartment that is about an 8 minute drive from both mine and Allen's work, nice and clean, pet friendly, and agreeable to month by month leasing.  Omaha is easy to navigate, we haven't even come close to getting lost.  It is gigantically huge, but the small pockets are easy.  Our apartment is on the corner of a busy highway and there are about 10 restaurants across the street.  I may never cook again!  Last night, we slept well, and quietly.  Allen started his first day at a new Wal-Mart this morning and I returned to a grocery store that we found yesterday named Hyvee.  We found it because we needed to connect to the internet and Allen was hungry.  They have amazing breakfasts (eggs, sausage, delicious hashbrowns!) and when I walked in this morning and a bunch of old men were sitting around drinking coffee, I immediately felt at home.  I think we are going to be happy here, and to tell you the truth, we'll be sad to leave.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Baking a Rainbow

So, what did I do with the rainbow swiss chard?

 It was SO pretty!  I couldn't wait to try something with it.  So after a little research I decided to try an egg frittata.  A couple of blogs I found promised it would be yummy and beautiful.  I couldn't wait.

So, I chopped and sauteed it, along with half a red onion and some butter.  I was curious at this point and did take a little nibble just to taste tastes like grass.  Seriously, it was not bad at all, but you know what grass smells like?  If you eat raw rainbow swiss chard...grass.

After sauteing, I mixed the grassy vegetables with 4 eggs and about a cup of milk and stuck the whole thing in the oven.  

40 minutes later:
SOUFLE! Very French.

The purple, yellow, and green really was very pretty.

And despite the grassiness, it was tasty.  Even Allen agreed.  Combined with tomatoes and bread it made a very yummy dinner.

So, that's my rainbow swiss chard story.  Success!